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Hand care for green thumbs

By, Stacy Wernimont-Diehl, OTD,OTR/L, Occupational Therapist at Orange City Area Health System As the weather gets warmer and the days are longer, many of us find ourselves outside. For some it is about enjoying the beautiful day, while for others it means spending time working on projects in the yard. Often those first few times outside, we are eager to get things done and work at length to accomplish our list of tasks. It is during this initial time, our hands can take a beating as they are not used to this type and/or length of activity. The following are ways you can help your hands and keep your green thumb:
  • Keep open areas covered with occlusive bandages and/or gloves to prevent from becoming dirty and/or infected.
  • Protect hands from chemical exposure by wearing gloves.
  • Gloves with textured grip help with holding gardening tools.
  • Select gardening tools with large or foam handles.
  • Refrain from a continuous firm grasp on tools when not in use.
  • Carry sharp tools pointed down to prevent injury from falling directly on the tool.
  • Carry heavy gardening items with two hands versus everything in one hand.
  • Use sharp tools in motions away from the body versus towards the body to prevent injury.
  • Position yourself so your hands can work in close proximity to your body.
  • Avoid positions that require weight bearing through your hands.
  • Soften any hard ground with water prior to working it.
  • Thoroughly wash your hands after work is complete or if any chemicals are handled.
  • Gently remove any dirt from cuticles and under your nails with an old tooth brush.
Click here for more information about our Physical and Occupational Therapy services   Our occupational therapists treat injured, ill, or disabled patients through the therapeutic use of everyday activities. They help these patients develop, recover, and improve the skills needed for daily living and working. An injured hand can benefit from an orthosis made by Stacy, one of our occupational therapists.